Read more here.
This week we published a study in PNAS reporting the first comprehensive budget analysis of the protected areas in Africa where lions live. The study, which examined 282 national parks and reserves across 23 African countries, shows that the vast majority or parks – about 90 percent — are significantly underfunded. An investment of at least $1 billion dollars annually is needed to manage these areas. Our estimates are important because they will help governments and donors more realistically estimate the amount needed to conservation lions and their ecosystems.
Read more here.
This week, thousands of scientists united to declare grave concern over the negative impacts of the U.S.-Mexico border wall on biodiversity. Defenders of Wildlife scientist Dr. Rob Peters and I led an article coauthored with 16 esteemed coauthors, including Dr. E. O. Wilson, Paul Ehrlich, Rodolfo Dirzo and Gerardo Ceballos, summarizing the scientific evidence that the wall will cause irreparable impacts on wildlife.
Consensus is rare in science, yet the impending harm of a 2,000-mile barrier on wildlife is so assured that more than 2,700 scientists from 43 countries endorsed our article in a global call for U.S. political leaders to reconsider the Trump administration’s “big, beautiful wall.” The article was published this week in the journal BioScience and covered by news outlets like the The Washington Post, The Hill and Huffington Post. We have been overwhelmed by the support from scientists, the public and the press, and we are immensely grateful to those who have joined us in our message. To join as a signatory and endorse the article, visit our website.
Approaches for resolving incidences of human–wildlife conflict such as predator attacks on people or livestock typically use methods that address physical loss but ignore social, cultural, and emotional trauma. To holistically and more permanently alleviate conflicts, wildlife management agencies and other conservation practitioners require resources and training in outreach and public relations, and need to expand their toolkit of approaches in order to connect with varied stakeholders in a greater diversity of settings.
Check out the full commentary article in India's Economic and Political Weekly or for free in this downloadable PDF.
than the 6-year minimum trophy age recommended for sustainable hunting and penalises operators that hunt ‘underage’ lions (<4 years). Analysis of 138 lion hunts and 87 lion trophies from 2003-2015 revealed that after enforcement of age restrictions in 2006, hunters shifted harvests to suitably aged lions (>6 years), from 25% of offtakes in 2004 to 100% by 2014.
Successful implementation of this management system is due to: 1) committed, consistent enforcement by management authorities, 2) genuine involvement of all stakeholders from the start, 3) annual auditing by an independent third party, 4) the reliable, transparent, straight-forward aging process, and 5) the simple, pragmatic points system for incentivising hunter compliance.
Read the full article (free download) in Journal of Applied Ecology.
I've been part of an exciting collaboration with colleagues at Yale and UC Berkeley to create a new framework for predicting how predators and prey will interact across space based on characteristics like hunting mode and space use. Our new paper in Ecology (free download here) discusses how the concept of the habitat domain can be used to consider spatial context when predicting spatial interactions.
This conceptual theory can be used to predict how different spatial relations of predators and prey could lead to different emergent multiple predator-prey interactions such as whether predator consumptive or non-consumptive effects should dominate, and whether intraguild predation, predator interference or predator complementarity are expected. We elaborate on how modern technology and statistical approaches for animal movement analysis could be used to test the conceptual theory, using experimental or quasi-experimental analyses at landscape scales.
Our hope is that this new framework will encourage more research to empirically test whether such characteristics can be used to anticipate how predators and prey will interact, to inform management and conservation.
Just learned that I'll be presenting a workshop in July at the ICCB 2017 on 'Predation Risk Modeling as a Decision-Making Tool for Reducing Human-Wildlife Conflict'. Join me in Cartagena, Columbia!
My Yale colleagues and I just published a review entitled "Effectiveness of Contemporary Techniques for Reducing Livestock Depredations by Large Carnivores" in the Wildlife Society Bulletin. The article compares the effectiveness of different methods for preventing carnivores from attacking livestock.
Read the press releases from Yale and UC Berkeley!
The final chapter of my PhD is out in PLOS ONE! (Download)
The article, entitled "Human Perceptions Mirror Realities of Carnivore Attack Risk for Livestock: Implications for Mitigating Human-Carnivore Conflict", compares the realities of where tigers and leopards attack livestock to how people perceive attacks on the landscape.
Spoiler alert: people are really good at predicting where carnivores might attack livestock! But then why do attacks still occur? Read the article to find out!
Read Yale's press release.